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their profits. >>> president obama's in hawaii today where he and the first family will spend christmas. but the president says he will return to the white house after the holiday to continue working on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. joining me now, white house editor from politico, rachel smolkin. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> holiday red there, rachel. i will begin with you. is there any realistic timetable where a deal gets done beforian 1? look at the calendar. >> there's a realistic timetable but not an optimistic timetable. not a lot of holiday cheer going on in the nation's capital. after the stunning is heback speaker boehner suffered this week in the house where he could not get his own plan through. had to pull it and because he didn't have the votes. we saw president obama acknowledge yesterday before leaving for his vacation that the deal would -- would dramatically narrow. the parameters of a deal, scope of any possible deal, much smaller than we were looking at even a week ago. he said he would still be open to the big deal but the reality is we are running ou
becoming greece. >> today, despite the president being in hawaii, the fiscal cliff is still on the agenda. kristen welker is with the president in honolulu. good day to you, kristen. what are you hearing there? >> reporter: alex, good morning to you. white house officials say this is very much a working vacation, no word if president obama has actually spoke on the congressional leaders at this point. i can tell you that conversations are going on at the staff level. but the reality is that the hard work, the final touches probably won't be put on these bills or this bill, rather, that they're hoping to get until lawmakers, the president, return to washington. and of course that won't happen until after the christmas holiday. this has a lot of people worried, alex, because as you say there's not a lot of time left to get a deal done. president obama, house speaker john boehner, were very close to getting a deal. president obama had given a little on entitlement reform, house speaker john boehner had given a lit until terms of agreeing to increase taxes. but they just couldn't get to the f
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